Saturday, August 13, 2005

15th item promised in the Republican Contract with America

The 15th item promised in the Republican Contract with America:

"The Senior Citizens Fairness Act: Raise the Social Security earnings limit which currently forces seniors out of the work force, repeal the 1993 tax hikes on Social Security benefits and provide tax incentives for private long-term care insurance to let Older Americans keep more of what they have earned over the years."

As usual, I will have to split these items up and analyze them.

1st: They promised to raise the Social Security earnings limit. This was done.

2nd: They promised to repeal the 1993 tax hikes on Social Security. They failed to do this. The 1993 tax hikes on Social Security are still in place.

3rd: Provide tax incentives for private long-term care insurance to let Older Americans keep more of what they have earned. The results of this are a mixed bag. You can deduct the cost of long-term care insurance as a medical expense limited to 7.5% of AGI. In other words, you can deduct the total amount of your deductable medical expenses MINUS 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. I cannot give this one to The Republicans. Medical expenses have spiralled out of control and paying for the care of Older Americans is a FAR greater problem today then it was in 1994. Older Americans are NOT keeping more of what they earned over the years.

They have completed almost half of this promise, I just cannot give it to them based on health care costs.

Republican Contract with America Score
Broken Promises 10
Kept Promises 5

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